Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 27 November |
The Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
home iconNews
line break icon

Sperm count plummets over 50 percent in Western men

Sperm

Public Domain

J-P Mauro - published on 08/16/17

Puzzled researchers are working hard to find out why.

An international team has examined the semen samples of nearly 43,000 men, collected from 1973 to 2011, and the results show a significant decline in Western men’s ability to produce sperm. Their research found men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand have experienced a 52.4 percent drop in sperm concentration and a 59.3 percent drop in their sperm counts.

Western men made up about 75 percent of the study. The remaining 25 percent came from less developed regions in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and areas of South America.

New York Times spoke with Dr. Shanna H. Swan, one of the study’s authors and a professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, who claimed that the analysis shows “this decline is strong and continuing.”

Dr. Swan went on to explain that the downtrend in Western countries means that we may find the cause in commercial chemicals. This includes everything from a mother smoking during pregnancy to exposure to phthalates.

Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. Phthalates have been found to disrupt the operation of male hormones and have been linked to birth defects. While the ability to detect these plasticizers has only been around since 2000, we know that less developed countries would not have been exposed to them as long as the West has, which could account for the difference in sperm production.

This is all still a theory. There has not been enough research done with phthalates to reach a definitive conclusion. It should also be mentioned that while an over-50 percent decrease in sperm production sounds high, it is a change from roughly 99 million sperm per milliliter to about 47 million. A significant enough drop to cause concern, but the human race is in no danger of ceasing reproduction any time soon.

Tags:
MedicineScience
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
FIRST CENTURY HOUSE AT THE SISTERS OF NAZARETH SITE
John Burger
British archaeologist confident he has found ...
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio's favorite prayer of petition
CHRIST THE KING
Edifa
Why do we say that "Christ is King"?
VATICAN POPE GOOD FRIDAY COLOSSEUM
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Learn to pray with the early Church and to di...
Miguel Pro
Philip Kosloski
How Bl. Miguel Pro served his people during c...
CHRISTMAS,ADVENT WREATH,FAMILY
Theresa Civantos Barber
7 Advent traditions that are easy to do at ho...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.